Stay

It’s 3 a.m. and all I can think about is the future. I found a 21 month program to earn my required degree in my desired field, which is a dream come true. But what does that mean for Jaks? Twenty one months. Older than he is now. He has always stayed home with me while I go to school online, and rarely allows for anyone else to even hold him, much less stay with them for a long period of time. It breaks my heart to think about how much he will grow in that amount of time, and how much I will miss. It’s a full time program with 6-7 classes for two semesters, and work experience for 3 semesters, which means I would be gone at school nearly all day and then I would be working on homework when I was home. Despite my need for stability and a job that can support us I can’t help but question whether this is the right thing to do, because as I look beside me at my little boy my heart sinks. In just 13 months I have seen him grow into the kindest, squirmiest, most selfless human being on earth. He shares everything with me, and finds happiness in the simplest of things. Our bond is something that I never want to lose. Would I risk losing him if I go through with this program? Would he lack stability and a connection to his family? Could this make him feel sad and like I don’t want to be around him anymore? I never want him to feel that…

I want to stay in this moment, right here, forever. His little baby feet peeking out from under his baby bum like a turtle (the way he has slept since he was a wee lad) and waking up every few hours to squirm his way over to me and lay his head on my chest. His soul is so pure and innocent now. I waste the days away trying to keep him busy instead of savoring these special moments I have with him. I convince myself that somehow what I think I need to do, like clean or shower or do something on my phone or look for scholarships or blogging or whatever. Somehow I convince myself that it’s more important than being here, in this moment, soaking all of this up. After months and months of searching for a program that I could finish within a short period of time and one that would set me free and allow us to start our own life, I have found one. One that would give me my dream job. A life that I crave, without struggle and charity from others. But I’m so scared to take the leap. I’m scared of what I might be leaving behind.

I don’t often turn to God, because truthfully growing up we rarely stayed in one place long enough to find a good church. So all I really know is what I’ve pieced together from reading the first few pages of the Bible and what I’ve heard in movies or from people around me. I lack any education about religion, which leaves me feeling kind of hypocritical asking for God’s help in my time of need. But here I am, hoping, wishing, praying for the right answer.

Guide me through this life. Give me the strength to make decisions and the patience my little one deserves. Help me be the mom that I can be, that doesn’t take my time with my little one for granted. Someone who makes him smile and laugh all the time. Help me use my phone less and connect more. Create memories with these moments. Live to the fullest. Be the best version of me.

I just want to make him proud, and for him remember his childhood as a good place. I wish I could stay here,with Jaks in my arms and his hand in mine forever. But I can’t. So I’ll have to choose.

The photo is one from over the summer, and I miss the sun and when Jaks was this little. I loved this little bear suit ❤Thanks for always being a good listener (@ my blog).

XO, J

 

Day by Day

Today was rough. It’s hard to admit when I have the biggest blessing (Jaks), because I almost feel like I’m taking it for granted, but man. Today was so rough.  From the very first one-eye-opened sleepy face this morning until the last call before bed, Jakson has been sooooo grumpy. I did what I always do when he gets fussy, I tried to see if his teeth were bothering him and gave him some tablets to ease the pain. I put on cartoons. I played with him in his toybox and I even carried him around and let him help me do the laundry and the dishes and all the other house chores that seem to never be finished- which by the way resulted in a numb arm and a worn out mama. But he wasn’t buying it. I would set him down, he’d cry. I would pick him up, he’d cry. Honestly by about noon I was so exhausted that I felt like I was going to lose my temper, which isn’t like me. I had all these negative thoughts running through my head like, “why is he being so bad?” and “what am I doing wrong?”… It’s hard to think rationally, or at all when you have a screaming baby. So I told him “no” about 500 times and tried to distract him unsuccessfully. It is so hard to figure out this parenting thing because if I yell, it makes me feel bad. It makes Jak feel bad. And the situation doesn’t improve. If I don’t yell he doesn’t listen and I feel like I’m just letting him get away with it and he’s going to turn into the kid at the grocery store who screams and throws fits. Where is the other option? He isn’t old enough to have conversations about what is right and wrong… I just don’t even know what I’m doing and need HELP. Please mamas. Give me your best strategies for dealing with pre-toddlers and keeping your cool and being a good mom and keeping them busy please please pleaseeeee.

On the other hand, a few good things did happen today. First of all Jakson and I dance like everyday and I waltz him around in my arms through the living room, and today he FINALLY started dancing on his own! He’s been doing his hands for a while but today he started bouncing and using his arms all together! It was so cute! Another good thing that happened is I finished season 2 of outlander and it was crazyyyyy wow. If you haven’t seen outlander I highly recommend, I am in love with James Fraser and he totally changed my opinion of red haired men. Now I just have to wait and wait and wait until season 3 comes out! 

So at the end of the day, it was a learning experience and I’m pretty tired so this post wasn’t as meaningful or quality as I wanted it to be but hey, that’s life. I’m just another mama taking it day by day, trying to figure out the secret to parenthood. (If you have it, help a sister out please.)Goodnight y’all, falling asleep while writing th . . .
 JK. But really. Tired.

Peacing out and taking a nap, like Corinne before a rose ceremony. 

– XO, Jordan

Jakson’s Gluten Free Vanilla Cake Recipe 

For Jakson’s birthday I had to find a gluten-free cake recipe because he has some sort of sensitivity to it. It’s not that he’s allergic, but he seems to get acid reflux from it and I can’t find any info from doctors or the Internet as to why this happens, but if somebody also has this problem or their child does PLEASE SHARE any fixes/ explanations/ anything because this mama misses her Hawaiian rolls and buttermilk pancakes. (and bread that doesn’t taste like a sponge.) I nurse Jakson, so I stopped eating it when he was around 3 months old when we finally narrowed it down to gluten, and have tried it a few times since with the same result: gas and stomach acid.

Okay, so I’m just going to skip all the b.s. cause who likes to read a whole blog post when you’re looking for a recipe? Not me. This isn’t my recipe, just one that I found on Pinterest that I’d like to hang on to for future reference. I wrote this down a long time ago and can’t find the source, so if this is your recipe contact me for credit!!!

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all purpose gluten free flour
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (unless flour blend already includes this)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4 egg whites + 1 whole egg
  • 1 1/3 cups milk (almond milk if dairy free)

(To halve the recipe, use 3 egg whites in place of the 4 egg whites + 1 whole egg.)

Instructions:

Preheat 350°F.

Prep 2  8″ round cake pans by covering the inside with butter (thin layer) and coating with GF flour. (This helps the cakes not stick.)
Sift the flour, xanthan gum, cornstarch, baking soda and baking powder. Add the salt, and whisk together. Set this aside.

Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla with mixer for 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together egg, egg whites, and milk.

Gradually add the flour mixture in with the butter mixture, alternating with the egg and milk mixture. Mix to combine well in between additions and once everything is combined, mix for another minute with mixer.

Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Rotate the pans, and continue to bake another 8-10 minutes.
Allow the cakes to cool for about 20 minutes before removing them onto a cooling rack. Make sure the cakes are completely cooled before you ice them, so the icing doesn’t melt! I made homemade whipped cream to frost Jakson’s cake, because the cake is already very sweet and I didn’t think it needed any sugary frosting. (Also, whipped cream is WAY easier to clean off of a toddler than sticky frosting that hardens…) I used half this recipe for Jakson’s little cake, and it was still plenty.

And that’s it! I honestly think this recipe is better than normal cake, and it can also be made dairy free with almond milk so HECK YES. If anyone happens to try out this recipe let me know what you think!

-j&j

The Big One

We laughed, we danced, we played, we opened presents, we ate ice cream and gluten-free birthday cake ( click here for the best Gluten Free Vanilla Cake Recipe , it literally is so good.) And of course, watched Shrek.

Jakson’s first birthday was such a fun time. We celebrated a day early because his birthday was on a Monday, and invited our closest friends to join us. As expected I cried all day because WHERE THE HECK DID THE TIME GO?! I swear it was just yesterday that my baby was 4 lbs and had to be fed through a tube. And now he is close to 20 lbs, has grown nearly a foot since his birth, and is eating basically anything he can find. (This isn’t always a good thing…) The last year has been the best, most tiring and difficult year of my life; but also the most rewarding. I have changed into a different person entirely because of the challenges that my little one has brought to me and from the very moment I saw him, he has flipped my world upside down. I can’t say enough what a blessing he has been. (Here come the water works again 😭) Besides the cake and ice cream, Jakson’s birthday was more of a mental hurdle. It was realizing that my baby is transitioning into toddlerhood right before my eyes, and I’m just trying to chase him around and capture all these moments before I blink again and another year goes by. So in honor of his first trip around the sun, here are a few things I never want to forget about Jakson at one year old:

  • He loves our dogs. Like seriously loves them, and barks at them every morning when he hears their nails clicking across the floor to our bedroom. Actually… he barks at them everytime he sees or hears them at all. ITS THE CUTEST DANG THING
  • He laughs when he toots
  • Most mornings he wakes up before I do, and sucks on my face and giggles and basically uses me as a jungle gym until I wake up.
  • He tries to share everything with everyone.
  • He practically jumps out of my arms to get into the bath
  • Being naked is his favorite. (Hence the obsession with bath time.)
  • He likes to have his ears cleaned with q-tips and starts falling asleep everytime I do it
  • He loves massages
  • Climbing in the dishwasher has become a daily occurrence, and he cries when I shut it :’)
  • His favorite food is spaghetti and meatballs
  • Jakson is sooooo shy! He literally won’t let anyone hold him that he doesn’t know, even my sister (who lives far away and only sees him every few months) and hides his face in my hair when he gets embarrassed
  • Something about being out in public brings him out of his shell and he says “hi” to everyone he sees at the grocery store…
  • Speaking of talking, Jaks can say: mama, hi, hewwo, baddog (to our pup, Snuffy, when he takes his food) and more than anything he BARKS
  • I have never seen a kid who loves Shrek as much as Jakson. He knows when they are going to start clapping and claps before they do, it is so cute. We watch Shrek almost every day before his nap because 1. we usually need a break by then, and 2. It’s the only thing that he’ll sit still for
  • He doesn’t have any teeth yet, but has been teething since what seems like he was 6 months old. Ugh poor babe.
  • He likes to crunch goldfish with his gums, and shake his sippy cup when it has ice in it because of the noises they make.
  • Jaks has some sort of sensitivity to gluten, so he can’t eat very many goldfish.
  • He tries to sing when he hears music
  • Lately he fights sleep and has the exact same fit every night in attempt to postpone it
  • He’s a mama’s boy at heart.

Despite the people that he felt kind of shy around, Jakson had the best time and got a new big boy plate set with a cup, spoon, fork and bowl. He also got a baby rocking chair to match mine, and a little push around car ❤ it’s hard not to spoil someone so dang cute! His favorite part of course was his spoon and cup, which he clanked together all day. I will never forget the love and happiness that was Jakson’s First Birthday, and we were so lucky to spend it with great friends.

slow down babe, you’re growing up too fast.

XO, mama

Introduction

Hello to the zero followers listening and the empty space of my brand new blog. Does anyone else love starting over and just having a clean space to work with? I’m starting this blog to share my story as a mother. I’m thinking that if I write a post every week about how it all started, then I can eventually let it go and move forward with my life. Not without my baby, of course, but without the other person who should be here with us but has chosen to live without us. I truly believe that I am better off, as is Jakson, but it’s still hard to picture in a few years what Jakson will feel like not knowing who his father is and why he left us. 

DISCLAIMER: this is not going to be a freaking blog about the a-hole who abandoned us. 

However, in order to tell the whole story he obviously is a part of it and a part that I would like to leave in the past. So with the help of my handy dandy notebook (aka blog… I use a lot of tv/ movie references FYI.) I am going to MOVE ON WITH MINE AND JAKSON’S LIFE. And be the most successful and badass single mom you’ve ever seen. 

So here’s to motherhood:  It’s one of the best, most difficult and mind boggling things anyone can ever experience, and maybe one day my son can read this and get all the gory details of his first years… If you are reading this bubba, I love love love you Jaki Lee (Jakson Liam, but he’s kind of a ninja and can climb like no other so this is a good nickname for him.) 

XO, New Blogger.